Cablegate: Ankara Media Reaction Report
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ANKARA 001232
DEPARTMENT FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/SE, EUR/PD, NEA/PD, DRL
JCS PASS J-5/CDR S. WRIGHT
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR TU
SUBJECT: ANKARA MEDIA REACTION REPORT
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2003
THIS REPORT WILL PRESENT A TURKISH PRESS SUMMARY UNDER THREE
Decree crisis in government - Sabah
Gul to ministers: State interests at stake, no room for
emotions - Hurriyet
61,500 U.S. troops to stay in Turkey six months - Vatan
U.S. trusts northern Iraqi Kurds too much - Turkiye
Barzani goes too far - Aksam
Kurds don't want Turkish troops in northern Iraq - Vatan
Annan brings his third plan himself - Sabah
Reluctant decree - Yeni Safak
Ankara awaiting a final gesture from U.S. before enacting
decree - Radikal
Bush threatens Turkey - Cumhuriyet
KDP: Turkish occupation worse than Baghdad regime - Radikal
Erdogan welcomes new Annan plan - Zaman
Ankara: Third Annan plan insufficient - Cumhuriyet
Annan: tragedy if no compromise in Cyprus - Milliyet
Amb. Pearson: We are close to agreement w/GOT - Dunya
Oil nightmare: Crude oil up to $36 - Finansal Forum
Iraq: The GOT agreed on Monday to send to parliament a
decree for deployment of foreign troops in Turkey, despite
the fact that no compromise has been worked out with the
U.S. Cabinet ministers who initially refused to sign the
bill were convinced by Prime Minister Gul, who promised that
the issue would not be discussed in parliament before the
U.S. agrees to meet Turkish demands. Turkey will provide
logistical support to the passage of 61,500 foreign troops
to northern Iraq over three months, according to the
resolution. 17,000 U.S. troops will be stationed in Turkey
for rapid deployment in cases of emergency, and the
remaining 44,750 will go to northern Iraq, according to
reports. Government Spokesman Sener said that although many
ministers opposed the draft, it was ultimately signed by all
ministers. Papers view parliamentary approval as unlikely
unless the U.S. accepts Turkish demands. Ankara expects a
goodwill gesture from the U.S. to overcome parliamentary
resistance. Parliamentary Speaker Arinc's strong opposition
to the decree is a grave concern for the AKP leadership.
The U.S. is reportedly annoyed by Turkish demands for
written guarantees, and President Bush warned Foreign
Minister Yakis during his Washington visit that Turkey might
be abandoned by the IMF, WB, and WTO. The President also
cautioned that the U.S. would act together with Kurdish
groups in northern Iraq in the absence of Turkish support.
Having settled the issue of the $15 billion economic aid
package, Turkey and the U.S. are now working to reach
agreement regarding military and political issues. Some
Turkish journalists wishing to cover the Iraqi opposition
congress in Erbil were denied access by the KDP, who said
that TGS permission was not sufficient to cross the Iraqi
border. KDP officials regard the Turkish presence in
northern Iraq as a bigger threat than the regime in Baghdad,
according to reports.
Cyprus: Ankara, Athens and the sides in Cyprus are reviewing
the third Annan plan. Ankara is reportedly not happy with
the new plan, which does not include changes on the question
of sovereignty, or on the bi-zonal structure or property
issues. Denktas has criticized the plan for `seeking a
continuation of the Greek Cypriot Republic.' After meeting
with Greek Cypriot President Papadopoulos on Monday, Greek
Prime Minister Simitis said he saw no chance for a solution
with the new plan. UN Secretary General Annan, in Ankara
for meetings with top-level Turkish officials, said he would
announce the latest changes to the plan in Cyprus, and that
the plan was the last chance for a solution before the new
deadline of March 7. After meeting with Annan in Ankara on
Monday, AKP leader Erdogan said the revised Annan plan had
improved chances for a compromise.
EDITORIAL OPINION: Iraq
"Bad signs for Turkey from northern Iraq"
Fatih Altayli argued in mass appeal Hurriyet (2/25): "It
looks like northern Iraq will be a painful issue for Turkey
for the next 10 years, as the strong anti-Turkish statements
from the northern Iraqi Kurdish leaders clearly indicate.
This was, in fact, a crisis foretold. Because the American
and other western "so-called" NGOs have been working to
manipulate the Kurdish groups in the region since 1991.
Turkish governments made a terrible oversight and handed
over the responsibility to the military, instead of focusing
on the political aspect of the issue. The political control
of the region went to the Western powers, predominantly the
US and France. Now we are just paying for this mistake."
"Turkey should say no to US"
Mustafa Karaalioglu argued in Islamic-intellectual Yeni
Safak (2/25): "The Turkish government has the best possible
international atmosphere to justify the illegitimacy of the
US action plan on Iraq. Turkey should act with pride as
well as political dignity so that this country does not
serve as a logistical facility for the American invasion
plans. . The AKP government should consider Turkey's
regional interests as opposed to Turkey's economic losses.
The US plan for Iraq looks like a deliberate crime and the
AKP has enough popular support for not taking side with it.
. Otherwise Turkey will completely miss the chance to stand
against any of the American action plans for the Middle East
in a near future. Taking side with the US means Turkey
sells all its regional interests to 6 billion dollars."